In my last blog entry, almost six weeks ago now, I explored how I’ve jumped into new experiences at various times without being fully prepared or understanding what they would entail. I ended that blog by thinking lovingly of Mac, our older dog and wondering if maybe I didn’t have something to learn from him.
Well, it turned out I did, although it’s been a very painful road we’ve walked down since then. In early June Terry and I began to work through the difficult challenge of accepting that we needed to say “good-bye” to our beloved canine companions, Mac and Ella, our two border terriers who, like my children, shared the same mother. They had been our children for 15 and 14+ years, and our life was structured around enjoying and caring for them.
Making a sad story short, we lost them on June 10th and since that time have lived day-to-day feeling a large void in our lives, as well as gratitude for all the unconditional love they gave us for so many years. In the end, instead of saying good-bye only to Ella, who probably should have been allowed to leave us some time ago given her various age related problems, we decided that we needed to do the same for Mac. He was deaf, essentially incontinent, on paid meds, on liver function medicine, and also suffering from canine cognitive dysfunction.We decided that it would be inhumane to keep him alive longer than Ella because it would only increase his confusion and pain to suddenly realize that she, his life-long companion, was gone; we decided that we needed to hurt instead of our beloved canine companions. And hurt we have.
I enjoy blogging but stopped as soon as this all happened. I didn’t want to be maudlin and all that was on my mind was sadness and emptiness and the quiet house….although I will have to admit that Terry and I both acknowledged that not having furry balls of stuff like tumbleweed floating around everywhere was OK—although we would gladly have it all again could we have our doggies back younger and healthier.
I did finish the special socks that I was working on—they went to a special friend instead of the person I was intending that they’d be for. That will take another project, soon to be launched. Here are the finished socks on the legs of the special friend who seemed to really like them:
They were great socks, but they weren’t exactly what I’d planned. I knit them from On-Line Step with jojoba (beautiful and nicely fuzzy) and with stranded colorwork in Mini-Mochi. The result was so soft and cozy—but a bit too fuzzy and soft for the special person I had in mind. Back to the drawing board for that!
The proud owner of the special socks came for the weekend after we’d lost the dogs and Terry was gone with friends to attend some car races. It was wonderfully therapeutic to have her with me at this time, as she’d just lost her beloved cat Elizabeth and understood about the grief that comes from losing a companion animal. We pretended we weren’t hurting and made many visits to Portland area yarn shops—-yarn therapy works even if you don’t buy much!
I need to thank two friends for helping me get back to blogging—-Chris who always can make me laugh and who is also a dog-lover and Connie, a long ago Springfield,IL friend who called me today after trying to reach me on the e-mail address linked to the blog. Both of them said that they enjoyed reading the blog… which reminded me that I also enjoyed writing it but had been afraid of putting finger to keyboard since the big loss…….And I guess what I learned from the old dog that I ended the last blog thinking about was that at times we must do things that are very painful in order to fully express the love we feel. We didn’t want them to hurt so we did instead.
Life is full of wonderful gifts, as well as pain and sadness. And in the end, it’s all worth it, seems to me. So, I’m back and will catch you up with what I’ve been mindlessly knitting in the meantime—–therapeutic knitting, of course.
Ella always hated cameras, and I have no idea how I ever got this photo of her. When she was younger, she earned her championship and was always very happy and comfortable in the ring and with cameras. However, Mac was the photogenic of the two—-he was always very laid back in front of a camera as well as everywhere else. We miss them so.